Oregon: Young Adults Only



Dr. Pamela Sheffield

Dr. Sheffield has over 15 years of experience as a clinical psychologist providing therapy, assessment, and consultation to adults, adolescents and their families. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and both her Master of Science and Doctorate of Psychology (Psy.D) in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University’s School of Professional Psychology. At Rochester she worked for two years on a longitudinal research study investigating family relationships and child attachments. She has long been passionate about providing quality, research-supported treatment to a variety of clients and has experience in providing treatment and consultation to adolescents, young adults, and their families in pursuit of the best treatment outcomes.

Prior to joining Educational Connections, Pamela was the program manager for the Adolescent and Family Program at the Portland Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Institute. While at DBT, Pamela worked daily with families and adolescents in crisis. She facilitated a group specifically for high risk adolescents, working directly with teens to help them acquire skills to manage significant mood and emotional regulation issues. Her clients included adolescents struggling with anxiety, depression, personality issues and chemical dependency. She also worked with parents to increase their parenting effectiveness by helping them develop skills to cope with their children’s high-risk behaviors. In this role she emphasized the importance of parents maintaining their own health and stability. Throughout her time at the DBT Clinic, Pamela was involved in program development, outreach to the community, and encouraging adherence to the DBT model. Finally, she provided individual and group psychotherapy to adolescents and adults.

In addition to training and practice of DBT, Pamela has completed a 2-year Gestalt therapy training course through the Gestalt Therapy Training Institute Northwest where she also participated in an advanced Gestalt therapy training group. Further, as a clinical psychologist, Pamela has a background in psychological testing. This involves administering a variety of psychological instruments to determine a student’s psychological and cognitive strengths and challenges, including identifying learning disorders and mental health issues. During graduate school Pamela worked for three years doing crisis intervention and assessment. She helped parents cope with the high-risk behaviors of their children and assisted clients of all ages to develop and ensure safety plans in a variety of high-risk situations.

Pamela grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Oregon where she fell in love with the Pacific Northwest while in graduate school. She is married and lives with her husband and two young children. She enjoys hiking, film, cooking, and is hopeful that some day she will learn how to keep a garden alive.

After a long an arduous path of trying to help our daughter, we faced the realization that no matter how much we loved her and wanted to help her, it was not working at home. But how could we know what type of program/school she most needed? Attempting to research all the options and locations for treatment was overwhelming and and felt like a shot in the dark. We could not just blindly send our vulnerable child away to the care of strangers - we needed a professional to advise us.

Luckily, we found Pam at Educational Connections to guide us. She was kind and understanding and conducted a very thorough process to identify exactly what our daughter was struggling with and which program would be the best fit for her needs. Pam’s knowledge and expertise gave us the peace of mind we needed to select the best treatment program for our daughter. I can now testify that her recommendations were exactly right for our daughter. She is  thriving and living a better life thanks in no small part to Pam and Educational Connections.

- Adrienne, parent

When we couldn’t find help for our son anywhere else, Educational Connections welcomed us with open arms. They were our guides and interpreters through a world we not only did not know existed, but one so vast and foreign that we never could have navigated our son to safety on our own. I would never hesitate to recommend Educational Connections to anyone in need. I hope you never need them, but if you do, you will never regret their guidance and more importantly, their support.
- Luke, Oregon

Pam Sheffield

My team of psychologists and I have worked with Pam and her clients for many years.  I am honored not only to have collaborated with her so many times, but to provide a testimonial, as I cannot recommend her with more pride and confidence.  Pam is an expert in guiding clients and families through the treatment process.  Her values and integrity far exceed best-practices.  She not only conducts an uncanny degree of  collateral research and due diligence, but is committed to working collaboratively with clinical and program professionals to ensure her clients not only receive the best possible recommendations, but continued treatment.  

Pam’s work is clearly driven by an earnest care for the clients and families she serves.  She provides concrete and practical guidance, while fostering in families a greater sense of connection, a clearer understanding of their strengths and values, and the ability to move forward  together with confidence and clarity.

- Dr. Joshua J. Cluff, PsyD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Founder/CEO

During an emotionally tumultuous time for our family Educational Connections helped steer us in the right direction. We never could have navigated the maze of wilderness programs and therapeutic programs without their professionalism, knowledge and empathy. We will be forever grateful.

- Matt and Lisa, Oregon

The office is located in Portland’s beautiful Goose Hollow neighborhood.

1012 SW King Ave., Suite 301, Portland, OR 97205

Parent Support Group

Dr. Sheffield facilitates a support group for parents of adolescents and young adults in residential treatment. The group was started to help reduce the isolation that many parents feel when they have a child who is struggling. Feedback from parents suggests that this has been a very positive way for them to connect with one another and share experiences and ideas.

The Portland Parent Support Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month. Please contact Pamela for more details.

I honestly don’t know if I would have had the courage to send our daughter to wilderness without the support of other parents in our group. Their compassion, understanding, advice, and terrific sense of humor has made an almost impossible situation so much more bearable.

- Mother of daughter in treatment

Our despair has turned to hope . . .

Our daughter struggles with depression and anxiety and continued to lose ground in spite of intensive therapy with a local psychotherapist. After more than a year of escalating struggles and an alarming decline we turned to Educational Connections for help. Their recommendations suited our daughter’s needs perfectly and provided an incredibly effective intervention. Now, our daughter is working hard to build the skills she needs to move forward in her life.

- Lisa and Peter, Oregon